'The following subsection is substituted for subsection (1) of section 20 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968—
(1) Where a child is in the care of a local authority under any enactment, the local authority shall, in reaching any decision relating to the child, give first consideration to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child throughout his childhood; and shall so far as practicable ascertain the wishes and feelings of the child regarding the decision and give due consideration to them, having regard to his age and understanding."'.—[Mr. McElhone.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.1338
§ 5.15 p.m.
§ Mr. McElhone
The purpose of the new Clause and Amendment No. 59 is to remedy an anomaly in the Scottish care provisions in the Bill as drafted at present.
The existing Clause 62 amends Section 15 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 by incorporating in it a general duty on local authorities in respect of children in care. The new duty requires the local authority, in reaching any decision relating to a child in its care, to give first consideration to the need to promote the welfare of the child, and for this purpose to ascertain his wishes and feelings so far as may be practicable. This new provision overlaps to some extent with Section 20 of the 1968 Act which, as it exists at present, imposes a general duty on a local authority having a child in its care to promote the interests of the child. This provision should have been repealed when Clause 62 was incorporated in the Bill.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.